Temple priest Karaj Singh and temple executive member Balhar Dosanjh said they are saddened and fearful after racist graffiti was written near the temple on Pine Street. Angie Mindus photo

Temple priest Karaj Singh and temple executive member Balhar Dosanjh said they are saddened and fearful after racist graffiti was written near the temple on Pine Street. Angie Mindus photo

VIDEO: B.C. Sikh man offers unknown culprit behind racist graffiti ‘a cup of tea’

Longtime Williams Lake resident Balhar Dosanjh is a peaceful man

Members of Williams Lake’s Sikh community are inviting the person responsible for writing racist graffiti on temple property to “come in for a cup of tea” and get to know them.

“We are peaceful people. We follow a peaceful religion,” said Balhar Dosanjh, standing in the pouring rain Friday morning outside the Gurdwara Western Singh Sabha Temple located at 3015 Pine Street in Williams Lake.

Dosanjh has lived in Williams Lake since 1976 and considers Williams Lake his home. He is on the Gurdwara Western Singh Sabha executive and visits the temple to pray once, sometimes twice, per day.

READ MORE: Festival of Lights brightens up the lives of women

The graffiti, written hastily in black marker or paint on a retaining wall, says “Welcome 9-11 contributors” and is visible on the driveway into the temple.

Dosanjh said he felt fearful immediately when he first saw it.

“I can’t explain it (the feeling),” he said. “It made me feel sick.”

WATCH: Flag raised for Vaisakhi in Williams Lake

Video footage obtained through temple security system shows a suspect dressed in dark clothing the morning of Tuesday, June 25 starting to write the graffiti, stop and then come back and finish it.

Dosanjh offered an invitation to that person responsible to come to the temple and “have a cup of tea, get to know us.”

He does not want to see this continue, as the Sikh community is still reeling from a 2006 arson at the temple which caused more than $1 million damage.

“We are peaceful people. If somebody want to come in and know who we are, what we do and how we preach, they can come in or phone us and have a cup of tea with us. If they spend time with us they will learn … that is my message to everybody. Come in, phone us, we will sit together.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kiah Thiessen-Clark and Kate Thiessen-Clark from W.L. McLeod Elementary won third place in their grade during the science fair held by School District 91. (SD91/website)
SD91 District holds Science Fair; announces 2021 finalists

Several finalists were from EBUS Academy and W.L. McLeod Elementary

(Photo - Pixabay)
NVSS Queer Alliance group in Vanderhoof launch “Share the Love” campaign

Sense of community, empowerment and positivity are the visions of the NVSS group

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Local Canfor workers among those taking government-sponsored early retirement.  (Black Press file photo)
Local workers take up government retirement offer

Program to buffer forest industry closures

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Most Read